3 - 9 March, 2013
Senior MEP: Bersani is the right manto do what’s right for democracy
New Europe spoke with Spokeperson, Mr.Stefano Di Traglia, one of the closest ad- visers of Mr. Bersani, Leader of the PartitiDemocratici, about the results of the Italianelection and forming a government after therebuff from Beppe Grillo.
Right after the election results, Mr. Ber-sani underlined the need to open dis-cussions on a future government with Mr.Grillo.It seems that from the blog youreceived a negative reaction.
It‘s not a blog that decides if the proposal of Mr. Bersani is unacceptable, but the mem- bers of Parliament. Then, in the blog I alsosaw various comments and different opini-ons from the one of Mr. Grillo.In the Parliament everyone will be responsi- ble for his decisions. On our side, we propo-se a new idea of government, and if PresidentNapolitano will give Mr. Bersani the explora-tory mandate to form the new government,and I think that this will be the case, it will bethe occasion to present a concrete agenda.The strong points of our proposal are: mo-rality in politics, cutting costs in politics,conflict of interests, the anti-trust law, robustanti-corruption laws, social measures and ac-tions to boost economic growth.I think also that Mr. Grillo will have to esta- blish a discussion with his Parliamentarians.The voters pushed strongly for change, this was one of the topics of the phone call today with President Hollande; we have to avoidthe populist wave of the past years, which brought to power right wing coalitions, thiscould happen again because of the austerity measures.I have to underline that this phenomenon isnot only an Italian problem and Europe un-derstands this.
This proposal will be only addressed to Mr. Grillo?
Mr. Bersani is going to introduce his propo-sal to the entire Parliament, then is the PDLready to accept a stronger corruption law?On the conflict of interests is it ready to ap-prove a law that resolves this problem?Then we have the anti-trust law. Whichmeasures to take on labor policy? We will present an agenda, but we are notsearching for a privileged role with any po-litical group, after that the single groups willhave to decide. The need for a change is bornmore from one side and this is evident.
An important act of the Parliament will beto quickly nominate the presidents of theSenate and of the Chamber, this will bethe first occasion to test a potential coa-lition .What‘s the agenda of Mr. Bersani?
It’s not a mere assignment of seats, in the past years we saw in Italy the negative trend of al- ways having the winning coalition as presi-dent of the two chambers. Mr. Bersani wantsto change this trend, and he is open to share with other groups the responsibility to rulethe two wings of the Parliament. In that very moment we will be able to understand alsohow the various political groups are going tointeract on the interest of the country.
Europe is concerned about the Italiansituation, what‘s your impression aboutthat?
Europe is asking for a concrete and stablepath and I think that our coalition could of-fer the elements to govern as Europe is as-king at the moment.In the Senate we have this difficult situation, but I also think that tackling issues, measure by measure, we can offer some concrete ac-tion, we now have to convince Europe that we are ready to take tangible actions in thedirection of growth.This new wave, which was highlighted onthe world press as negative, can also be, witha responsible attitude, an important elementof positive change from the political point of view.
he electoral system in Italy needs to beradically reformed if the country is toavoid the kind of gridlock it is currently faced with, a senior MEP has told New Europe.Gianni Pittella, vice-president of the Eu-ropean Parliament and member of the PartitoDemocratico, the party of Pier Luigi Bersani, thecentre-left candidate who is hopeful of receivingpresidential approval for forming a government,told New Europe that the new prime ministerneeds to address the flaws in the current electo-ral system that have contributed to the currentinstability.The Italian elections, held on 24/25 Februa-ry, fractured the political system, with Bersani se-curing a majority in the lower house, but failingto get the required majority in the senate. According to Pittella, there are two majorquestions that the new prime minister will needto address upon taking office. “Mr Bersani hasthe possibility of a renegotiation of the agree-ment with the EU to have more flexibility in line with the stability pact. This is vital for the econo-my, to give more jobs and improve growth”.“The second proposal is to cut the expen-diture of political life, through certain publicspending cuts, and to ensure in the reform of the political system – maybe a cut in the numberof MPs, and a possible change in the bi-cameralsystem. If Mr Bersani is trusted to form a govern-ment, these should be his main priorities”.Pittella said that recent quotes by Bersaniputting this election firmly in the context of growth versus austerity for Europe, needed to be taken seriously. He said that this was the bigissue facing the EU at the moment. The PartitoDemocratico, he says, are “fully with Europe”, but that current austerity measures pushed by in-fluential governments, such as Germany, as wellas by the European Commission, whose econo-mics commissioner, Olli Rehn, is a firm advocateof fiscal prudence.The election result, says Pittella, “is a voteagainst austerity, and against embedded politics.In Italy, like in Greece, Spain and Portugal, auste-rity has triggered an increase in unemploymentand poverty, and not only amongst the workingclass, but also the middle class”.“Then there are the embedded politics”, hesays. “In Italy there were instances, for instance, where some public funds were not used in an ap-propriate way, and the citizens protested becauseof this”. Former prime minister, Silvio Berlusco-nai, who staged a remarkable comeback at thiselection, for instance, has to answer to the electo-rate for his populist promises, says Pittella. OtherEuropean governments, notably Germany, whodistanced themselves from their centre-rightcolleague, backing instead the technocratic Ma-rio Monti, will not be so taken with his tactics,he says.Pitella dismisses speculation that there will be a quick re-election in Italy, in a re-run of thelast Greek elections, or that there will be externalEU pressure on the county to form a govern-ment quickly in an attempt to quell market ner- vousness.“Outside or German influence is not seen by Italians as a positive thing. If there is a lectureform Angel Merkel about austerity, the Italian re-sponse will be ‘what do you have to teach us?’ Idon’t think that there will be another election inItaly. This will be a great danger, not just for Italy, but also for the wider Europe”.
By Cillian Donnelly By Federico Grandesso
Pier Luigi Bersani “Has the possibility of a renegotiation of the agreement with the EU to havemore flexibility in line with the stability pact. This is vital for the economy, to give more jobs andimprove growth” |
AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN
Change of electoral systemneeded for Italy
Bersani expected to be asked to form government